HDO Spotlight: Jeremi Suri

Nov 5, 2019

UT Austin's seal.In this edition of the HDO Spotlight, Dr. Jeremi Suri discusses his upcoming commencement address for our Master’s Class of 2019 graduation ceremony in December.

Miles Husid, HDO Marketing Coordinator

November 5, 2019

Commencement Address Topic: Integrity and Leadership

There is no single formula or theory for effective leadership, but there is one necessary ingredient: trust. People will not follow someone they do not trust. People will not sacrifice for a higher cause they cannot believe in. People will not risk improving themselves and their society without belief in the mission.

Social media, partisanship, and public narcissism have diminished our capacity to trust, and therefore our ability to lead or follow. We must rebuild trust to re-imagine leadership in all corners of our democracy.

This address will focus on the concept of integrity: what it means and how leaders can embody it to rebuild trust with their stakeholders. In an era of ubiquitous scandals, integrity has become a refreshing and exciting quality. Cultivating personal and leadership integrity, and promoting it in others, opens powerful opportunities.

This address will draw on historical examples to analyze how leaders in similar past circumstances have built trust around integrity. We can draw on that history to inspire and promote the integrity we need today. Renewed integrity is the best path to reinvigorated national and local leadership.

Commencement Speaker: Dr. Jeremi Suri

Jeremi Suri holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. He is a professor in the university’s Department of History and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Professor Suri is the author and editor of nine books on contemporary politics and foreign policy. His most recent book is “The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office.” His other books include “Henry Kissinger and the American Century,” “Liberty’s Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama,” and “Foreign Policy Breakthroughs: Cases in Successful Diplomacy” (with Robert Hutchings). Professor Suri writes for major newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Daily News, The Dallas Morning News, The Houston Chronicle, The Boston Globe, Foreign Affairs, Fortune, The American Prospect, and Wired. He also writes for various online sites and blogs. He is a popular public lecturer, and he appears frequently on radio and television programs.

Professor Suri teaches courses on strategy and decision-making, leadership, globalization, international relations and modern history. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses, and he teaches and serves as academic director for the Executive Master in Public Leadership program (EMPL) at the LBJ School. His research and teaching have received numerous prizes. In 2007 Smithsonian magazine named him one of America’s “Top Young Innovators” in the arts and sciences. Dr. Suri also hosts a podcast called “This is Democracy” and leads the one-day HDO Seminar, Organizational Leadership & Strategy in Uncertain Times.


UT Austin